26 February 2014

Cricket flute

I have been playing lots of flute with nature lately, to be true to my poem.

In the past week I have played at Mt Ainslie, Pialligo Redwood Forrest, Lake Burley Griffin, and, of course, Haig Park. Focusing on trying to find the rhythm in nature is the best way to discover new melodies and I am better at playing softly for it.

The Pialligo Redwood Forest is a bit of an oddity. Only 3,000 of the original 122,000 trees planted in 1918 survived. You won't find older Redwoods in Australia, but, at 96 years old, they look tiny compared to the remaining giants of California. And they definitely feel out of their element in the Australian Summer. 'Play flute with many robins somewhat an elegy for missing fog,' is the note I wrote myself when there. For in their native clime, they rely, for much of their water requirements, on the quotidian visit of the North Pacific fog, silently invading the silence of their depths.

In the interest of science, I have transcribed this voice memo I recorded while leaving:

"The whole field is full of Orthoptera, I don't know if they are grasshoppers or what they are. They are probably like six centimetres long for the youngest ones, and the adults when they fly look about 12 or 13 cm and they have a very elongated mid-section, I suppose, I don't know, where the wings are attached and they look like little flying pterodactyls of something. Not little, they look like pterodactyls. But they are all yellow browny, sun burnt like the grass, so they are impossible to see, until they jump, and avoid your footstep. Some are a little slow, kind of groggy in the sun, they are hanging in the green grass, in clumps, having fun."

There you go. The BBC can certainly relax knowing a successor to David Attenborough is available when the time comes.

I am surprised I don't meet more people playing when I am playing flute. Surely there are still plagues of vermin that need charming over cliffs these days? Not that I have tried, but I'm willing to learn.

And that's the main thing.

Wandering in the park at sunset, playing with crickets, sometimes they stop, sometimes they start; I suppose they listen, but I have no idea what they say when I am gone.

I like it when they sing all the night through, but it's sad, as they must be the lonely ones; perfecting their song and waiting for the ear that hears in it a gong.

Here is the poem that came to see me at pink orange sunrise when I was playing in the park this morning.



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